A new Energy scheme for year 7


I’m in the middle of rewriting the physics energy topic for year 7. This here’s a few thoughts about it as I’m writing it. I noticed it’s down to be one of the first topics in September, so it will be finished by next week!

So 6 lessons then an end of unit assessment based around a piece of extended writing on the energy topic. This is something new we are trying with some of the year 7 schemes to link in with the extended writing we expect them to do at KS4.

We’ve divided up the new NC statements between the topics. I get:

Calculation of fuel uses and costs in the domestic context:

  • comparing energy values of different foods (from labels) (kJ)
  • fuels and energy resources.

Energy changes and transfers:

  • other processes that involve energy transfer: metabolism of food, burning fuels.

and I’ve already written the outlines for each lesson, including the main class practicals so the technicians have had advanced warning since before summer.

I’m very keen to incorporate the SPT approach to teaching energy (SPT Energy resource). Thankyou IoP!  This mainly consists of using the ideas of energy stores instead of the 9 energy types approach. I won’t go into why here. Go and join Talk Physics and join in the discussion! The rationale behind it is explained in a much better way than I could even try and explain it here.

I think my biggest problem is going to be how I communicate this approach to the rest of the department when we’ve been talking about the 9 energy types for a long, long time. Any thoughts? 🙂

I’ll be one of the first teachers to teach this topic in a few weeks along with our other physics teacher, so I have a bit of time and a good test run before any other science teachers will have to get to grips with it.

Wish me luck!



Image | This entry was posted in KS3, planning and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A new Energy scheme for year 7

  1. I agree that the SPT resource and the recent TalkPhysics discussion led by Charles Tracy are excellent. As you suggest, the challenge of influencing the 9 types model is significant especially as there are so many texts and past questions based on these. Discussion is perhaps the starting point and answer but, in the end, the nature of future assessments about understanding energy will determine how it is taught. I assume you have read this as it is referenced from TalkPhysics: http://esummit-msu.net/content/towards-research-informed-teaching-sequence-energy ? ALso there’s this https://www.york.ac.uk/media/educationalstudies/documents/research/Paper11Teachingaboutenergy.pdf
    As Robin is a leading influence of OCR C21 that may be a starting point for GCSE questions and resources. There are also some useful CPD resources relating to the teaching of energy from the past National Strategies. [http://www.nationalstemcentre.org.uk/elibrary/resource/5311/strenthening-teaching-and-learning-of-energy-in-key-stage-three-national-strategy]
    Love the cats!
    Keep us posted on how it goes for you, and your colleagues.
    Best wishes


  2. audsley says:

    Thanks for the comment. Some fantastic links. I’ll make sure I read them and will also update on how it’s all going at school.

    I tried to use this approach today when asked ‘how do plants grow?’ by my 4 year old. Think I may not have answered very well and think I should prepare some stock responses to go with the lesson plans to help teachers. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s